James Franco plays Fidel Castro in biopic, with daughter Cuban leader’s blessing


James Franco goes from Tommy Wiseau to Fidel Castro.

the disaster artist actor is cast to play Cuban leader in director Miguel Bardem’s Alina from Cuba, EW has confirmed. He joins the previously announced Ana Villafañe, who plays the titular character Alina Fernandez. Mía Maestro is also in the film as Fernandez’ mother Natalia “Naty” Revuelta, the Cuban socialite who gave birth to her after an affair with Castro.

Jose Rivera (The motorcycle diaries) and Nilo Cruz are writing the screenplay for the biopic, which, as the name suggests, tells the true story of Alina Fernandez, Castro’s exiled daughter. Revuelta first told her daughter that Castro was her father when she was 10 years old. Fernandez would become a vocal critic of his government in Cuba before eventually fleeing the country and defecting to Spain in 1993.

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Fernandez now serves as a creative and biographical advisor on the film set and has reportedly given her blessing to Franco’s casting.

James Franco attends the Filming Italy 2022 photocall on June 11, 2022 in Santa Margherita di Pula, Italy. (Photo by Daniele Venturelli/Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images); Fidel Castro, Cuban statesman. Havana (Cuba), in June 1988. FDM-614-4. (Photo by Francoise De Mulder/Roger Viollet via Getty Images)

Daniele Venturelli/Getty; Francoise De Mulder/Roger Viollet/Getty James Franco and Fidel Castro

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Alanna de la Rosa, Maria Cecilia Botero, Harding Junior, Sian Chiong and Rafael Ernesto Hernández also star in the film, which starts shooting this month. John Martinez O’Felan and Joe Lamy produce for Mankind Entertainment; Celine Rattray and Trudie Styler produce for Maven Screen Media; and Allen Gilmer and Rikki Rushing produce for Redbud Studios. Javier Gonzalez, Juan Pablo Solano, Simon Beltran, Luis Mandoki and Thaddeus D. Matula are executive producers on the project.

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To bring Fidel Castro’s character to life, he teams up with James Franco on his long-term makeup collaborator Nana Fischer (Golden Globe winner, the disaster artist) and dialect coach Jessica Drake (the batter, Bohemian Rhapsody), which he took,” Martinez O’Felan told EW in an email.

Alina from Cuba marks the second casting announcement for Franco in recent weeks. Last month it was announced that the Oscar nominee would be returning to the big screen with a role in Bille August’s coming-of-age period drama, Me you four years after he quit acting after facing allegations of sexual misconduct.

TSWT Hollywood first reported Franco’s casting.

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